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What is legal abuse, and what’s being done about it?

On Behalf of | Sep 27, 2022 | Domestic Violence |

Going through a separation in New Jersey is already a difficult time in most people’s lives. Unfortunately, this situation becomes even harder if you’re divorcing someone who is putting you through legal abuse, which is often brushed off as a contentious divorce but is in reality very different.

What is legal abuse?

Legal abuse happens when someone uses the court system to harass or make the other party uncomfortable. Making matters worse, many courts mistakenly refer to legal abuse as “high-conflict divorces” when, really, all of the “conflict” is coming from one person.

The goals of legal abuse depend on what goal the litigating party wants to happen. Typically, the main goal of this form of abuse is to make the other party’s life worse. The legal abuser might continually lie to gaslight the court into believing their side of the story. In extreme situations, someone who commits domestic violence might drain the other party’s financial account, strip them of custody of the children and even render them homeless. Without anywhere else to go, the victim of legal abuse might end up going back to the abuser.

Uncovering legal abuse early

Fortunately, as people and courts learn more about legal abuse, they are recognizing the signs. One potential way to stop this form of abuse is by limiting or eliminating the need for repeat court hearings. Another way to end legal abuse is by sanctioning someone for filing motions that are considered frivolous.

However, legal abuse remains a major problem for people going through a divorce. If you suspect that another party is committing legal abuse, it could be helpful to seek advice from someone who is familiar with local statutes and court procedures.

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